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Sales & Dating Analysis: Inbound Marketing and the Cold Sales Call

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/2/11 1:35 AM

The Big Bang Effect: Inbound Marketing and the Cold Sales Call

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Opposites attract?"

In dating, this is something like the hot girl who falls for the timid and socially inept genius. (think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Big Bang Theory...)

In business development and sales, it is like calling an inbound lead when they are not expecting your call. (no, not sending an email- automated or not, or tweet, or company follow on LinkedIn)

I am talking about the actual action of taking the small hand held computer in your pocket, otherwise know as your cell phone,  punching in a 10 digit number, and using your voice to communicate with people.

This, my 21st century sales people, is called a COLD CALL.

If you know what a cold call is, then you know that a cold call is any time you call someone when they don't expect you to. (How dare you!)

Remember that time you finally worked up the nerve to call that girl you met at your friend's dinner party last week because you just could not get her out of your head?  = COLD CALL.

Or when you call your BFF just because you heard a funny story that reminded you of her? = COLD CALL.

Have you ever been sitting at a bar, or standing in line with a lot of strangers and said hello, made a comment about your situation, or in some way interacted with them? = COLD CALL.

Did any of those things kill you? Neither will cold calling.

Cold Calling Prospects in the 21st Century

This is not your daddy's sales process.

Do you hear the word 'cold call' and immediately feel trapped in a glass phone booth with the whole world is watching you sweat it out on national TV?

Do you freeze in fear if someone actually answers the phone- like a sniper has you in his cross-fire, ready to kill you from a mile (or 3,000 miles) at the first wrong move or word you say?

Do you spend an hour or more carefully crafting just the right response to an email?

Do you find anything else that is more important to do (like organizing your spice rack alphabetically)?

Or is it that you don't pick up the phone because you just don't want to be seen as "that old-school sales dinosaur" (who doesn't have a clue how to blog, send a tweet, create an automated marketing response email, or tag a business on a Facebook post?)

No one picks up the phone anymore! That is so 1999.

The Internet Has Changed the Way People Buy

Have you changed the way you sell?

Here is the thing, the internet has flattened the world and people don't buy the way they used to. Customers are well educated about their choices, they are connected, and they are vocal.

And they don't believe a word you say if they think you are trying to sell them something.

So how can sales now change the way they sell to match the way people now want to buy?

For the most part, that means removing the walls between sales and marketing so that they are working together in perfect harmony to solve customer's problems.

The challenge that many inbound marketers are now starting to realize is this: no matter how the internet has changed things, people don't want to call (or fill out a form) to talk to a sales person. Even sales people don't want to feel like they are being sold to. So as much as we wish that inbound marketing equaled your phone ringing with eager people waiting to buy.

It is just not likely to happen that way. You still have to sell.

My advice? Ditch the carefully planned sales scripts, flow charts and checklists. Start practicing your flirting skills. Be human. It is like riding a bike...

Steve Kayser's recent post, "On Writing Simply and Saving the World" talks about getting rid of the goobleydogook (sp.?) that has become so engrained in 'proper marketing communications' that no one has a clue what most businesses are really about and trying to sell.

Marketing is not the only one who needs to stop talking goobleydogook. Sales is just as guilty... (maybe because marketing is the one writing their lines, and so they go into scripted presentation mode.)

Are you struggling to pick up the phone? Don't know what to say? Contact us to talk about sales coaching!

Topics: inbound marketing, inbound sales development, business development, smarketing